Today I want to extend a warm welcome to Inspirational Beading readers from India! I was very excited to see India near the top of our monthly visitor’s list. I knew before I even started looking for photographs to share with you, that it would be difficult to choose only a handful. I found so many beautiful and stunning pictures, and many that were also sad - it seems to be a world of striking contrasts.
Like many cultures around the world, jewelry and adornment make up a large part of India’s traditions and heritage. India is one of the world’s largest consumers of gold, and has been a home to different kinds of bead manufacturing for thousands of years.
The Republic of India is the second most populated country in the world, second only to China. The richly diverse culture of its citizens is due in part to the local origins of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, which have been accompanied by Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam in recent history. Between the early 17th and 18th centuries, The East India Company slowly gained access and control over the region, and eventually annexed most of India. The country won it’s independence from British rule in 1947.
One of the most famous Indian landmarks is the Taj Mahal, an immense and beautiful monument and mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, third wife of emperor Shah Jahan. Construction began in 1632, after Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to her 14th child. The tomb is set within a 980 square foot garden, and is one of the most easily recognized structures in the world.
Another widely know Indian treasure is Bollywood, the home of Hindi-language films. The nickname describes films from the area of Maharashtra, formerly Bombay, which is the largest film producer in India. Known for colorful, musical romances and action films, Bollywood movies have been growing and evolving since the early nineteenth century, and eventually surpassed the US as the world’s largest film producer. The term Bollywood, which is not appreciated by all cinema lovers, was coined sometime in the 1970’s.
Happy beading, India!
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